Wayne Simmonds wreaking havoc in front. (Courtesy: Bruce Bennett)

Flyers Lookin' Good After Topping Canucks

Holy shit!. It’s been a while since we’ve had a regular season game as exciting as this one. The Vancouver Canucks showed some amazing puck movement. But our kick-ass Philadelphia Flyers also showed their ability to capitalize on mistakes by the other team. Here’s a decent recap from ESPN, and one from CSN.

Lucky Bounces

  • On the Giroux goal, we got freakin’ lucky. How often does a dump in bounce out in front of the net, right to the teams best player, when he’s got nobody on him, and the goalie doesn’t see it coming?
  • On the JVR goal, Roberto Luongo’s shitty clear ended up right on G’s stick, and he put it back in the slot.
  • With the Flyers scrambling around a bit, the puck settled nicely on Henrik Sedin’s stick before Bryzgalov could get there to cover the near post.

Big Butt

  • Wayne Simmonds – I’m loving this guy more and more every game. On the Pronger goal, I’m not sure Chris hit it as hard as he would like. It didn’t matter though, because Night Train’s screen in front completely blocked Luongo’s vision. More on this below.
  • Jaromir Jagr – Several times he used his big body to shield the puck and cycle. He absorbed hits and controlled play at will. Yeah, he’s still got it.

Everything Else

  • Ref’s: There were horrible calls both ways. I’m not going to complain about all of the time we were shorthanded in the 3rd. I just wanna see more things let go. The cross check that gave us a man up when Pronger scored was complete bs. Ditto for the unsportsmanlike call on JVR. The hooking call in Jagr should have been a Holding The Stick call on the Canuck.
  • Vancouver’s talent level is ridiculous. This isn’t exactly news, but damn it’s fun to watch them.  When they go on the PP, they set up in the zone so damn fast that the penalty killers are often scrambling around. It led to a ton of dangerous shots. Their puck movement is unreal. It’s pretty amazing that they didn’t score a few more and steal this game.
  • The Flyers own powerplay isn’t too shabby either.  They don’t move the puck quite as much, but they get the job done.  Whereas the Canucks are generally looking for a backdoor pass, the Flyers try a bit more to tee it up from the point. They’ve done a much better job this year of getting open shooting lanes.
  • Andreas Lilja threw a nice, hard, clean hit on someone with their head down. He didn’t send them flying, but he brought the pain. And he was smart to not drop the gloves when someone tried to tango, really for no reason. Why the hell do people always want to drop the gloves after a hard hit?
  • Both Andrej Meszaros and Jakub Voracek did a nice job of picking corners. Both goals were similar, in that they were kinda the late man coming in, getting a cross ice drop pass, and putting the puck into the epty spots that Luongo had left uncovered.
  • Andreas Nodl sucks. He just continues to do NOTHING. I cannot wait until we get rid of him already. He had a few bad turnovers on the PK. He adds nothing on offense. Please, be gone!
  • Sean Couturier had a beautiful setup on Jake’s goal. Nice patience and vision there. And on the PK he was pretty solid too. But at one point he made an errant drop pass that got picked off. Play went back into the Flyers zone and stayed there, resulting in a goal. He should have just gotten the puck deep and went off for a change, because at that point the whole PK unit had been out there for a while. It’s a rookie mistake,  and I’m sure nothing even needs to be said to him there.

Finally, I wanted to give Wayne Simmonds a bit more time in the limelight. He just plays his role perfectly. I remember plenty of times last season, screaming for somebody to screen the goalie on powerplays. The Flyers let Mike Knuble go because they thought Scott Hartnell would park himself in front and screen goalies. Problem is that he’s too slow and doesn’t react fast enough. But Simmonds is faster and smarter. He looks more aggressive and more capable out there. He’s got the same game as Hartnell, minus the random spills on the ice, and an an upgrade in every other facet. If he’s a throw-in in the trade for Brayden Schenn, then we got a steal.

Thanks for reading!

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Tags: Andreas Lilja Andreas Nodl Andrej Meszaros Brayden Schenn Chris Pronger Claude Giroux Henrik Sedin Ice Hockey Ilya Bryzgalov Jakub Voracek Jaromir Jagr JVR Mike Knuble NHL Nodl Can't Play Philadelphia Flyers Roberto Luongo Scott Hartnell Sean Couturier Vancouver Canucks Wayne Simmonds

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